Dispute over cemetery could head to court

GRAVEL HILL, Ark. (AP) - A cemetery board and a nearby landowner have been unable to work out a compromise concerning disputed land and could be headed to court. Carthel Jackson Hodges Jr. says he does not want to damage land in a 40-foot-wide strip which contains 30 graves at the cemetery's edge. He claims to own that land.

Hodges has filled in ruts and holes drilled for wood gateposts. Remaining are 13 steel T-posts without fencing attached, to apparently separate a 150-foot section of disputed property that contains no graves. Hodges says he wants the board to assure him no more bodies will be buried on his property.

Robin Covington, the pastor of Gravel Hill Freewill Baptist Church that is associated with the cemetery, says he doubts a compromise can be reached.

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